Another game, another goal. Carlos Tevez’s mesmerising season is set to end in a bittersweet way, with a second league winners medal around his neck and another move away imminent. His winner against Genoa moves him closer to both.
Juventus are being linked with just about every forward in world football, from the out of form Radamel Falcao to the unsettled Edinson Cavani, but the enormity of Tevez’s importance to the club means any possible replacement faces a huge task to succeed.
In a way, his goals have gone under the radar. But 24 in 36 appearances are proof of his unnerving composure and significance to Massimiliano Allegri’s side. Paul Pogba may make the headlines, but it is the Argentine who is propelling them closer to more success.
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Tevez has never been one for the long term, with his four years at Boca Juniors and Manchester City his lengthiest stay at any of the six clubs he has represented throughout his illustrious and goal-laden career.
And it is Boca who crave his signature and return above all others. Whilst there have been whispers of a return to Upton Park with West Ham United ahead of their move to the Olympic Stadium in 2016, it is his homeland of Argentina where his heart lies.
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Having won the Champions League already, back with Manchester United in 2008, he desires another shot at winning another Copa Liberatores, the South American equivalent of Europe’s showpiece tournament. He won that honour back in 2003, scoring in the second leg of the final against Santos.
During a brief spell where he was exiled at City, he spent his time golfing in the sunshine of his homeland, and ever since he has always wished to return for longer than a holiday.
Though they possess Alvaro Morata and Fernando Llorente in reserve, Juventus have been heavily reliant on Tevez ever since he arrived in Turin last summer for a fee of just £10million.
He narrowly missed out on the Golden Boot last season to Ciro Immobile of Torino, but leads the race for it this season with 16 goals, one ahead of both Jeremy Menez and Mauro Icardi of AC and Inter Milan.
The 31-year-old is also fuelling their hopes of winning a first Champions League title since 1996, producing a marvellous virtuso display of tenacity and terror to score twice and provide an assist in a comfortable 3-0 win over Borussia Dortmund at the Signal Induna Park during the week.
Can they keep him?
Llorente is obviously talented but whether or not he can lead the line is questionable, whilst Morata’s bond with former club Real Madrid has shown no sign of weakening despite his summer move away from the capital.
Juventus must fight tooth and nail, with everything they have, to keep Tevez at the club. Any replacement may find his stocky shadow too difficult to emerge from.